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The Crimson Crown (A Seven Realms Novel) Paperback – October 1, 2013
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4Q 4P J S When seventeen-year-old Raisa takes the throne, she inherits a queendom on the brink of civil war. The thousand-year hatred between Wizards and Clans is boiling over; Raisa cannot trust her mercenary army or its leaders; neighboring countries are poised to invade; and each faction demands Raisa's arranged marriage or murder (preferably both). She cannot even trust her bodyguard and lover, Han Alister, the former streetlord turned wizard, because he constantly keeps secrets from her. Is he behind the recent wizard murders and the burning of the city? Meanwhile, Han does his best to keep Raisa and her kingdom in one piece, but powerful enemies attack him from every side, physically and politically. In the midst of everything, he discovers that the land's thousand-year-old feud is based on betrayal and lies. Is there any hope for the queendom, or Han and Raisa's love? Chima has built a complex world filled with equally complex characters, living out an expertly structured and balanced plot in which everything that can go wrong does. Lovers of the series will dive in headlong to learn the fate of the people and lands they love, eating up the devious political machinations, the wizard magic, and bloody battles and will tear through the pages to see if true love wins. Newcomers, though, will be hopelessly lost, so only purchase where the series is popular. This fourth book in the Seven Realms series is recommended for lovers of political and action-laden fantasy, though scenes of violence and torture make it more appropriate for high school.-Melissa Moore. Set in an incredibly written fantasy world full of political turmoil, The Crimson Crown's gripping action scenes, coupled with forbidden romance, will immediately pull readers into Han and Raisa's captivating story. This stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series takes readers on a fantastic ride through a country on the brink of both civil and international war, but whose people possess the most important emotion of all-hope. 5Q, 5P.-Camille Birch, Teen Reviewer. VOYA"
In this concluding volume of the series, wizard, thief, and now bodyguard Han Allister longs to marry his charge Queen Raisa, but she's committed to a political marriage to save her quarreling queendom. The "jinxflingers" hate the native Demonai clans, someone is murdering wizards in the slums (and Han is the prime suspect), and the Ardenine army hovers on the border, waiting for an excuse to invade. Only by playing the multiple schemers off one another to heal the country can Han hope to win Raisa's hand. Here the promise of previous volumes is realized: the budding love story springs to full flower and the hints captured in thousand-year-old legends are borne out, while the stakes are ratcheted up to perilous heights. Betrayal, war, and the faith of lovers all come around to a glorious conclusion as Chima weaves together her geopolitical, magical, romantic, and even mythical themes on an epic scale. anita l. burkam Horn Book"
Torture and treasure, treason and trust, and the triumph of true love: All come to fruition in the stirring conclusion to this epic fantasy series. Raisa ana'Marianna has claimed the Gray Wolf throne, but her grip is tenuous: Every faction-clans, wizards, army, flatlanders-both within and without the Fells hates all the others, and each pushes Raisa to accept its preferred candidate for consort. Meanwhile, Han Alister has taken his seat on the Wizard Council at the queen's command, but every other member secretly wants to use him or kill him. Furthermore, there are the mysterious murders of wizards, marked with Han's old streetlord sign; all this disarray signals a weakness that encourages invading armies from the South. Together, Han and Raisa seek the long-lost Armory of the Gifted Kings as the only way to avoid re-enacting a 1,000-year-old tragedy; but to wield such a weapon may well trigger an even greater catastrophe. Chima manages to resolve this impossibly tangled skein of politics, intrigue, history, prejudice and passion with style and grace. Grim scenes of shocking violence alternate with moments of tenderness and humor, and the high body count is balanced by the almost fairy-tale romantic conclusion. While some of the depth and complexities of the supporting characters-along with the nuanced subtleties of their conflicting worldviews-are sacrificed to help demonize (or valorize) their respective positions, nothing can overshadow the cathartic satisfaction for those caught up in this sweeping saga. Simply brilliant. Kirkus" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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As Han attempts to keep his promise to the Clans, gain his revenge on the Bayars, and attempt to win Raisa's hand in marriage he continues to consult his magical mentor Crow, his ancestor Alger Waterlow and infamous Demon King, to learn his secrets and later the true events of a 1,000 years before. Even with all his plans falling apart, Han discovers the lost Armory of the Gifted Kings, only to fall into the hands of the Bayars just afterwards at the same time Fells is betrayed and invaded by Arden. Literally things go from bad to worse for both Raisa and Han, it looks like there will be no happy ending.
However, it was then that Chima showed her talent as a writer as she crafted a believable series of events that resolved the various storylines set up not only in the first half of the book but in the previous three books to a satisfying conclusion not only to the book but the series as well. Not everyone the reader has met survives, not many "villains" get redeemed or die, betrayal by friends or family occur that result in either deaths or lose of trust, and the external enemies are still a threat. It is because the Seven Realms series doesn't end like a fairy tale that makes this book so outstanding, its about how two individuals from different backgrounds were able to confront a 1,000 years of history to be together and start changing their homeland in a lifetime of work.
If you like good fantasy, or good storytelling, or good characters, or all three(!); I recommend this series to readers of all ages.
I think one of my most favorite things about this book is that Chima didn't try to do too much. It seems that, much of the time, authors try to tie up every single loose end at the end of a series, and as a result, all the major plot points are hurried and less than they could've been. Chima's too smart for that, and thank goodness for that. Oh don't worry - all the main questions that had been dogging us for awhile now were answered. But, despite a very perfect ending, you're left feeling that there's still more story to tell. There's still problems and looming tensions. Not everything was tied up in a neat little bow. At the start of the book, there was so much going on - I'm so glad that Chima picked her battles (excuse the pun).
If you have not read The Seven Realms yet, seriously - WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? I hate having to reduce myself to yelling at you, but honestly, you won't find a better high fantasy series out there anywhere.
I have been with the series ever since the Demon King and so have had to wait painfully for a year in between each new novel. This last year long wait was not in vain. The crimson crown is a beautifully crafted novel, that is suspenseful and full of action from the beginning. Once again the novel switches between Han and Raisa, with each switch leaving the reader begging for more. This novel has it all, romance, intriguing politics, action, and mystery. Top it all off with a wonderful ending and you have a more than wonderful book to read!!
Happy because pretty much everyone I wanted to survive did. Hurray!
For the most part this book answered all the questions that were left be answered. Again, we got to see many of the characters grow and make difficult choices. There were some parts that dragged a bit for me, but that's likely only because I was so eager to see what would happen to Han. I am happy that they didn't make it so that Han single-handedly saved the day, because that would have been rather unreasonable. It was great that it was a team effort.
It was great how Han forced the Wizards and Clans to work together. Between Raisa and Han, I honestly think Han is the stronger character. He has grown so much, learned a lot from his life experiences and is willing to sacrifice so much for the people he cares about. He is smart, tough, charming, loyal and firm, but at the same time understanding. He is not so quick to judge people for their decisions, because he tries to see it from their point of view. I really love his character. Oh and of course Dancer. I really loved Dancer in this book as well. I was also glad Dancer got a chance to shine and show that Han isn't the only special one among between the two of them. He honestly seems like the greatest friend a person could ask for, smart, loyal and independent. He complements Han without letting him have his way all the time. Plus he saved Han, on multiple occasions.
Micah, throughout this series I had a real love-hate relationship with both Micah and Fiona. But at the end of the day despite all of Micah's wrongdoings I do truly believe he loved Raisa and I honestly felt bad for him. Again, in another life/in another type of story he and Raisa might have worked. As for Fiona, she was a bit trickier. I liked that she was strong and independent. She knew what she wanted and it wasn't to stand on the sidelines while her father and Micah took everything for themselves. Oddly enough I enjoyed her interactions with Han. *Spoiler* I was sad when Fiona did not make it. Lord Bayar on the other hand was a snake from start to finish. I blame him a great deal for the misery of his children. He was greedy, vindictive, selfish and hypocritical. He was the worst kind of person and yet the best kind of villain.
All-in-all a good book, and an overall wonderful series!
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